The Eclectic Me

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From Rags to Comfortable

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My Journey to #FinancialLiteracy part two – a new life

 

Now that you know my ‘rags’ story, I am going to tell you my ‘comfortable’ (can’t say rich as 1 million today is not rich) story. Sorry this is much longer, but I hope you find it valuable!

 

A new lifestyle

My lifestyle changed when I married my new husband. He is a worker and saver providing me with security. I remember shortly after we were together and the freezer and pantry were full, I would open them up just to look. I was so happy I was not poor; he laughed at me for it, but understood. I still keep to my frugal ways, which has gone a long way to becoming ‘comfortable’. Read this to see how being frugal can help.

 

Investing and RRSPs

Another thing my new husband introduced to me was the idea of investing and RRSP’s. At that time I did not really know what an RRSP was, having never had one. I do think I had heard of them, but certainly did not understand them. Being who I am, I ran with it and started learning, the internet was just new and the concept of looking things up on-line was amazing. Paying yourself first and getting an RRSP loan if needed became a key part of our financial lives. Want to do some on-line research? Start here: http://cathystanton.com/investments.

 

Working with an Advisor

We saved for a few years and built up our portfolio to $150,000 and thought we were hot stuff. We decided to work with an advisor, because that is what people with money did! The advisor gave us very poor advice (he was just starting out) thankfully we did not follow all he said or we would have lost more than the 30,000 we did lose. Needless to say, I was not happy and asked him if there was a course I could take to learn how to do this myself. Unfortunately he said there was not, so did not pursue it immediately. I did learn from this that not all advisors are good at what they do, so you need to shop around for one who is.

 

Hurt my Back

In 1999 I hurt my back and could not walk for 6 months. I very quickly got bored with TV and reading fiction books, thankfully I was chatting with a friend about this time and he told me about the Canadian Securities Course (CSC) https://www.csi.ca/student/en_ca/courses/csi/csc.xhtml. I asked my advisor about this and he said it was really hard and most people failed it. This was the best thing he could have said as the challenge was on. I remember lying on my back using a pencil to study with because pens don’t work upside down. While taking my course I got surgery done on my back so I could stand up again, still could not sit for long and still can’t, so we set up a computer on a table using books or boxes to get it high enough for me to use standing  up.

 

Education

Needless to say I passed my CSC. I then felt I was ready to manage my own investments. Thank goodness I had also read about Warren Buffet, because this was at the height of the dot.com era. I knew better than to buy stocks high and look for value. I was able to buy stable investments like banks, telecoms, groceries, etc. I did very well, but made some mistakes as all newbies do. However, I continued with my education and did lots of research. I felt and still do feel there is a bit of an art to investing rather than just science and it seemed I was good at it.

 

My First Finance Job

While applying for an RRSP loan in 2002, I noticed the staff helping us were having difficulty and that they were not working in their own offices, so I asked about this. They said the institution was looking for a financial planner. I mentioned that I was interested and that I had already taken my CSC and also the Conduct and Practices Handbook Course. I live in Northern BC and it is sometimes difficult for firms to find qualified people to fill positions who want to live in the North, so when I applied I got the position. I was of course over-the-moon with excitement. I knew I was well on my way to #FinancialLiteracy!

 

The Next Eight Years

I worked in that position for the next eight years offering my expertise to clients, but eventually felt it was not really what I wanted. It was a great start and I learned a lot, and will always be grateful for my start, but too many restrictions are put on employees of large corporations. I felt I could not do what was really in my clients’ best interest.

 

My Own Business

So, while it was a scary move I decided to try becoming an independent, which I have never regretted. I have a lot more education and experience now, so can offer even more to my clients. I can give them full service, manage the number of clients I have and spend as much time as is needed with them. Every year I am learning more and taking more courses to increase my #FinancialLiteracy.

 

Why Should You Use an Advisor

There is a school of thought out there that says you can do this on your own – and you can. The tools are there. However, I have 17 years of experience investing and learning and still do not know everything, so be careful when doing your own. I needed help along the way, so I took professional level courses, which gave me entry level knowledge. I then put that knowledge to work, while taking more courses and doing hours upon hours of research. The average person does not have the time or inclination to do this much learning, so having an advisor might be good idea. Click here and the first article on the page will outline what an advisor can do for you. A good advisor will help you with estate planning, insurance, and so much more. Read my blogs on an eclectic variety of issues to help you reach #financialliteracy.

 

Offering My Expertise

Because I am passionate about investing and having a comfortable life, I offer my services to others to help them. In this digital age you do not have to live in Smithers to work with me, I have clients in BC, Ontario, and Alberta. Please read this it will give you 12 reasons you might need a second opinion. Not all advisors are good at what they do, we are like everyone else some are good at what they do, some not.

 

Conclusion

Be frugal, pay yourself first, and work towards #financialliteracy. Work with an advisor who really cares about you and your needs. If you have some knowledge you will know when something does not sound right. If you have any questions, please contact me I will be happy to answer your questions or provide you with a no obligation second opinion on your current investments. I am also happy to provide general knowledge and tips for saving money and spending less.

 

I LOVE COMFORTALBE!